Mobile photography abound at Chinatown Remixed: An interview with Mink Williams of Instagrammers Ottawa’s

By Adria May

You may have seen a certain character who walks about Ottawa’s Chinatown with a mobile phone, snapping pictures, playing with filters. He has a certain effortless cool, even when snapping pictures of neighbourhood kittens. His name is Mink Williams, and he is one of the founders of the Instagrammers Group in Ottawa (@igersOttawa). In case you’re a luddite, Instagram is a social media application for smart phones which allows users to share photos in real-time and pick fancy filters with an effect that resembles lomography. Worldwide, there are some 200 million monthly active Instagram users, with an average of 60 million photos shared a day. In Ottawa, there are many Instagram enthusiasts, with over 1,000 followers in the @igersottawa group.

 The ninth worldwide Instagram meet-up will take place on May 17, the same day as Chinatown Remixed. Instagrammers Ottawa is hosting a meeting-up that will start at the Chinatown Gate at Somerset and Bronson at 1:00 p.m. followed by a tour of the festival. The meet-up limited to 30 people (message @minkwilliams on Instagram for more info). In worldwide meet-ups, Instagram groups from various cities gather and go on photo assignments. Once the photos are posted, you will be able to find at by searching the hastag #chinatown613meet.

I asked Mink about how he came to know and love Instagram:

How did you discover Instagram?  I saw a filtered photo on Facebook, I thought it was neat, then I bought an Iphone. This was a 2.5 years back – I ended up following people on Instagram in different cities like San Francisco, and they were following me and I started commenting and then it just grew from there.

How was @igersottawa formed?  I was seeing these meets happen in other cities like San Diego and Toronto. People came to me and asked if I would put together an Instameet because I was friendly and into Instagram and I ended up partnering with fellow Ottawa Instagrammer Craig Barlowe. We contacted the Igers global group and got a logo and set up an account.

Our first Instameet was on October 27, 2012. Participants did a walking tour which included the canal and war monument.

What has been most surprising to you about the instameets?

I’m surprised by the diversity of people who come out and the friendships that are formed. They connect through a common interest in creativity. Now people are meeting separately and going on their own photo walks.

 You can follow Mink at @minkwilliams and Instagrammers Ottawa at @igersottawa